PAST and present footballers have formed Footballers 4ED as a show of support for President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF.
Formed last week, the organisation featured some of the biggest names to grace local football. The footballers were welcomed by the Zanu-PF Bulawayo secretary Raymond Mtomba and provincial spokesperson, Archie Chiponda.
The move comes after different organisations in the country have rallied support for President Mnangagwa building up to next year’s harmonised elections.
Started by Bulawayo-based players, the initiative is set to accommodate all footballers across the country and the official nationwide launch date is set to be announced. The footballers brought forward their grievances which they were promised to be assisted with.
Some of the problems that the former footballers brought forward include representation in their beloved sport, systematic isolation as there are few or no former footballers in the Zimbabwe Football Association.
“If you look at our footballers, no one has ever thought of putting a post-football playing life. A footballer’s life only exists when he is fit, if you get injured things will be bad for you. For the current players, I know the money you get is not enough, money will never be enough but there are opportunities that arise from joining a political party like Zanu-PF.
“So, gentlemen, feel at home, this is your home, there is no other home besides this one, if you trace your history as a family, you will find out that during the liberation struggle, your parents played a role,” Mtomba told the footballers.
The footballers also asked the party to assist them in opening up doors to make it into football administration and credible opportunity to be given space in the industry. They added that football is one industry that needs to be protected. They also need help in attaining coaching badges and access to grassroots sports facilities.
The players who came up with the initiative form the standing committee of the association and were encouraged to look for like-minded players across the country.
“Start thinking along the lines of identifying like-minded players, current and former in each province who are also as committed and passionate as you guys so that this thing can also blow up to become a national thing,” said Chiponda.
The association is set to be officially launched at a date yet to be advised and will be a national structure, open to all footballers, past and present.